Sunday, April 6, 2014


I know a surprising amount of sexist people. They don't think they're sexist. They think that they're honest or they think that the Bible placing men in leadership makes men automatically smarter and better. I don't know exactly what they think; it's a fairly new conclusion for me, actually. But I do know that they have a problem - and it's bothered me since I was little.

I was sexist for a long time, too. I thought men were better at everything. I still think that, generally, they're more fun, but that's not a "better as a person" type of thing. "The guys" were what I aspired to - not that I ever wanted to be a boy. No, thank you; but I did want to be accepted by them; I wanted to be equal, but I always "knew" that, since I was a girl, I never could be. I would never be better at anything. My thoughts would never carry as much weight as some other male peer. I would never be invited into their group - because I was a girl. They were the cool kids and I was not because they were boys and I was a girl.

I was wrong on some counts. For some, it wasn't that I was a girl - it was just that I was much younger. As I grew up and matured, the age difference didn't matter so much, and I was accepted. They did invite me to their group. But for some, I wasn't wrong. It WAS that I was a girl, and they are not.

I was told about this man-only church group that was for holding each other accountable. (To be clear, I have no problem with that. Men-only groups are fine; women-only groups are fine. Sometimes, you need someone who thinks like you. I get it.) But the reason I was given for it being a man-only place was because if they invited women, the ladies would respond in a way that disrupted things. They would have an over-the-top response, something just completely unacceptable. That just seems so wrong to me. For one thing, that's a huge assumption. How do you know how the ladies are going to respond? Secondly, if they did respond improperly, do your job as a brother in Christ and gently correct them - don't just kick them out. Women are not any more problematic than men; we're all sinners.

And that's what really gets me. To the sexists, we're a problem. We're not just sinners who mess up; we're not people who might need to have our understanding expanded - WE are a problem. WE cause troubles. WE make things hard for men. It's not a sin issue that we need to deal with; it's not something for someone to come alongside and help us understand. It's sexism. Our gender gets the blame for it, instead of my personal sinful being or simple ignorance. That's bad on two counts. One, it makes all women inferior (actually inferior; I don't use that lightly), and two, it also prevents men from properly holding us accountable. If we respond sinfully, we need to be corrected just like any guy - maybe you need to learn to do it gently, but if you say to yourself, "Well, she's a girl, what do you expect?" you're letting us off way too easily. Either for sin, or for ignorance. Assume the best of us - assume that we are actually smart and assume that we would rather be corrected than excluded.

God made men and women differently but complimentary. Does a multitude of counselors really sound like it's limited to one gender? Sure, you can find a multitude of one or the other, but you rarely get the whole picture that way. We function best and make the wisest decisions when we have the fullest view of something. You rarely have the fullest view when you've only talked to men or to women.

This is not a man-only thing. This is just as powerful coming from a mom as a dad, coming from aunts or uncles. This would be just as damaging (or maybe more so) for my daughter, if I were sexist, even if my husband isn't. That's scary - because I definitely was growing up.

So, let's work on this - for the next generation of daddy's girls - let's not treat the boys as inherently smarter or better. Let's not give little girls reason to grow up thinking that they will never be as important BECAUSE they are girls. Let's not weigh their opinions (or any other woman's; they will notice) as less simply because they are a female, and never, ever, ever let them off the hook for sin because, "well, she's a girl." Emotional outbursts and a lack of self-control are not anymore okay because one is female than infidelity is okay because one is male.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


So, this blog is taking another hiatus for a while. There are a few reasons for this.

One: Untwisting, the reason I started this blog in the first place, has come down. Maybe there's a new one somewhere, but if so, I'm not aware of it.

Two: I have a newborn, and she, even being the cutest baby ever, is taking a toll on my ability to keep up with normal necessities like getting the dishes run and the laundry clean.

Thus, taking a hiatus seems to be the logical choice. Happy blogging; I hope it won't be too long before I can get back to this.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Lalaith has posted a few things over on Untwisting again. I figured I should get them taken care of BEFORE I have a newborn. =) (Any day now!)

So first up: Wet and Wild (That's a nail polish brand and a joke.)

There's not really a whole lot here. It was an interesting bit about some of the odder claims of differing religions, but the argument is basically this: "Because all these religions have some seemingly ridiculous claims, they must all be equally ridiculous." Sure, it's an interesting thing to think about, but like that commercial is so fond of pointing out: "It's only weird if it doesn't work." In other words, it's only ridiculous to say that Balaam's donkey spoke to him if the donkey DIDN'T actually speak to him. It's only ridiculous to say that chickens can't fly if, in fact, chickens CAN fly.

So really, it's just kind of a think about it thing, which personally, I'm all for thinking things through. It really wouldn't be smart, if you're speaking to someone of a different religion to start bashing their beliefs or their mental capabilities in light of those beliefs. That's just not gracious and I'm pretty sure that EVERYONE has SOME belief that's ridiculous - check out those commercials some more and see how superstitious people get for the sake of their sports. So advice accepted - don't worry yourself over the weirder parts of someone else's religion. Everyone has weird beliefs.

Moving right along: Gay Rights in the Work Place

I was expecting a little bit more from the clip, but whatever. So here's the thing about this particular issue. Freedom for a company means freedom to discriminate - between whoever and whatever they want. They shouldn't be forced to buy equally from different suppliers/factories; and they shouldn't be forced to have a certain number of both genders, of different races, of different sexual orientations. That's not freedom. If I OWN something, that means I have control over it. So if the government says that I can't limit who I want to hire to these specific things, then really, it's the government who owns it - I'm just managing it.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that there is something morally wrong with that. My point is that, currently, that's not the way our country operates. It's slowly taking control of things more and more; but the fact that this issue is coming up is proof that right now, that's not how things are (at least in whichever state it was where that pastor spoke).

I'm not morally obligated to pay different people the same amount for the same job. I'm morally obligated to keep whatever deal I make with each person. I'm not morally obligated to treat people equally; I'm morally obligated to treat people lovingly. Fair does not mean equal; it means just. Equal treatment is often very unjust because people are not equal (if we were, we'd be clones).

Personally, I don't see this as a moral issue; this is a freedom issue. Giving up freedom is not morally wrong. Keeping freedom is not morally wrong. I like my freedom. If I had a vote there, I would vote against such a proposal - not because it's going to ruin the nation or something - because I think it's my right to hire or not hire people based on whatever I want. Age, race, height, gender, sexual orientation, etc. It's MY business; they work FOR ME. So I should get to decide. BUT, if the government says, "Uh uh. Now I get to decide." Then, that freedom isn't mine anymore, and I'm a law-breaker if I ignore that. And breaking the law IS a moral issue.

Freedom is not the problem; the problem is sin, and laws can't fix that problem.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Few Notes

It's been kind of quiet lately, so I thought I would write a bit about what's been on my mind the past few weeks. My church is having a mini-series on the Trinity which has been just wonderful, and God keeps giving me these new and beautiful little insights. It's been thrilling. =D

During this mini-series, the topic of Creation was addressed - why did God create if He was sufficiently satisfied within Himself? The answer is because God was not just sufficiently happy, but overwhelmingly happy. God was so pleased amongst the other Persons of the Trinity that it overflowed into Creation. He was so immensely satisfied that it poured out of Him in creativity and action.

In two weeks, the topic of the sermon is going to be about how we as Christians are to imitate the relationship of the Trinity within our relationships, how we are to show the same kind of love and care for the people around us, how we are always supposed to put others first because we love them. The greatest example we have in our human relationships is marriage. It's the most intimate, the most open, the most complete.

And there's a parallel that only it has. Out of the love and joy of intimacy that God had within the Trinity came Creation. Out of the love and joy of intimacy that two people enjoy within marriage come children. It's the overflow of love, of fully giving one's self to another.

Isn't that incredible? God gave us a tangible example of why He created, and somehow we tend to miss it entirely. Sometimes we even go so far as to think that God was lonely or lacking in some way. God was so much the opposite of lacking and THAT is the entire reason that He created. The whole thing just kind of blows my mind.

Another thing: I was reading a book tonight by Matt Chandler called The Explicit Gospel, and that specific part was on a very familiar topic - the severity of God and how much we deserve it. There was a certain sentence that caught my attention though; he wrote, "And let's be honest: nobody has just a sliver of pride." My first reaction was to give a little laugh to myself in agreement. Pride - it seems to be the all-pervasive sin, the starting point of every other thing. We elevate ourselves above God; we put our desires first; we trust ourselves more.

The next thought was rather a happy one though, something that I've known for a long time, but somehow never thought of in quite this way before: There will be no pride in eternity. There have been many sins that I have struggled with, that I still struggle with, but none so formidable, so stubborn as pride. Pride sneaks in everywhere. Pride appears when all my actions are right, when my words are right. Pride can hide in the most pious of ways.

But one day, it will be gone, rooted out entirely, demolished by the completion of the salvific work that Christ began at Calvary. One day, there will be no more of the Romans 7 struggle. And that inspires all kinds of feeling of joy, longing, and awe.

"What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see,
I will look upon His face,
The One Who saved me by His grace
And when He takes me by the hand
And leads me to the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day, that will be!"

Monday, September 24, 2012

How Great IS Our God?

A few weeks ago, I saw this video linked on Facebook. I found the title intriguing, as I've often thought the same of a great many gods. For instance, a god who is not sovereign is not an all-powerful god, and certainly not the God of the Bible. A god who is only managing things is what I would consider a weak god. There's also the idea of the god who has created everything and then has, in great indifference, decided that, although he COULD do anything, he simply has no interest - that god also strikes me as too small because he has no larger vision.

However, the argument that this video makes has nothing on the triune God of the Bible. I find it rather humorous that the very foundational things that we must believe have so baffled the minds of everyone who tries to comprehend them, and yet this video makes the claim that OUR imaginations have outgrown God. Have we come up with something more complex than Three separate, divine Persons existing as ONE essence? And we've imagined something more mysterious and wonderful than the omnipresent One taking on humanity - somehow fully and completely containing both a human nature and a divine nature? No. We haven't and we never will.

The video takes the universe as evidence that God is small, but how does that make any sense if you take Genesis 1-2 into account? You know how much time the Bible gives to the creation of the universe? "He made the stars also." All the trillions upon trillions of stars out there and how much does the Bible say about their creation? They got a single sentence. Why? Why is this immense thing given such little time and thought? Because God didn't know about it? Or because the universe is not the epitome of God's creation? The narrator is missing one of the key points of Genesis - the universe was not made in the image of God; humanity was. We are not the center of the universe, it's true; but we are the most important things that God created.

Now I'm all for realizing just how small we are and I'm all for realizing just how vast and amazing the universe is. But not in light of the universe - in light of the God Who MADE the universe!

The narrator brings up a few points of interest about the Bible - things like "we now know that the blanket of stars above us is not placed upon a firmament as the writers of Genesis would have had us believe." I wonder if the narrator would think it dishonest to say, "There are so many stars in the sky tonight!" It isn't by the way. "The sky" doesn't just refer to the atmosphere. It refers to "above" us, to anything from the tops of trees to the galaxies and vast empty spaces in between it all. "The sky" is a not a scientific term and neither is "firmament."

He then compares the power of the greatest volcano to a super-nova, once again forgetting that the God of the Bible made BOTH. So how exactly does this make God small???? No, the whole argument is actually proving just how vast God really is. It's a matter of common sense that you cannot make something greater than yourself. Therefore, everything that shows the immensity of the universe is simply showing that God is even greater.

It's telling just how large of an impact that believing or not believing that God is THE Creator has on everything else throughout the Bible. You can see this easily when the narrator says that (paraphrasing here) "at God's most wrathful, the worst He could do is flood a world that was already covered in 2/3s water." Even if we KNEW that that was true (which we don't, by the way; there's this great big theory about the water canopy before the Great Flood), who put the water there to be used as a flood?? God did! Is that a picture of His lack of strength, or is that a picture of His sovereignty in Creation?

And then the narrator goes on to talk about the destruction of our galaxy. It puzzles me to think that this person who talks with such wonder about the universe can then sit there and practically say that our doom is secured because one day we're going to collide with another galaxy. I don't understand how that is not a depressing thought to him.

In case you couldn't tell it was coming, the narrator comes right out then and suggests that we should pay homage to the universe. How does that make any sense whatsoever? Even if you don't believe in a deity, how does it make sense to pay homage to a THING? Do you pay homage to a painting? Sure, you can admire it, but don't you usually praise the painter? You say something like, "I love Van Gough. His paintings are so beautiful." Do you pay homage to a home run, or to the player who hit the home run? Do you praise the football for landing in the receiver's arms or praise the receiver for catching it?

Last point: After he's just talked about how our galaxy is going to collide with the neighboring one which will result in total annihilation, he says something about how we will "never run out of opportunities to explore our own potential." I pretty much wanted to facepalm at that point. He's either assuming that we'll all be well out of our galaxy by that point (since we're colliding with the next nearest one), or that somehow we'll have developed a way to survive colliding galaxies.

Anyway. The video does have two things going for - the music and the narrator's voice. But overall, that's got to be one of the worst arguments ever for the God of the Bible being too small.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prayer: Part Three

This will probably be the last post on prayer. I saw something else today that I may end up doing a post on perhaps next week. For today, I'll be writing on Prayer and Faith.

They are completely linked. If you do not believe that God can, you wouldn't bother asking. If you believe that God is able, only sin would keep you from asking.

Faith, however, seems to be a very slippery topic. Misunderstandings of faith lead to misrepresentations of prayer. Much of this is due to the idea of the "prosperity gospel" - the idea that if you believe it enough and ask for it, God WILL give it to you. This idea, once again, puts God in a box. If I believe the mountain will move, God must make it move, right? No.

How does this put God in a box? Well, it takes a great many variables about we fallen, sinful human beings, and simplifies them down to two things - Do I believe? and, Did I ask? Jeremiah 17:9 doesn't let us get away with that. Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked! We don't know them. And so many times what happens is people think they believe and people think they ask God and people think that they are doing it all according to the Bible, and then God does not give them what they asked for. And their faith crumbles.

Rather than questioning themselves, or simply realizing that what they were asking for must not have been in line with God's will, they often question God. They think that He didn't keep His side of the deal, that He broke a promise.

But that in itself shows how weak their faith really is. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." The very foundation of Christian faith is believing that God IS. That God is what? That God is Who He said. That God is GOD - perfect. If you can't believe that God is God because God didn't give you what you asked for, where is your faith really placed? It's not in God. Most likely, it's in your own understanding.

You reasoned it out; you believed that Bible said such and such; you came to this conclusion. Such a foundation is not faith in GOD - such a foundation is faith in YOUR abilities to reason, to understand, to discern spiritual things. But why are Christians able to understand spiritual things? Because the Holy Spirit is with them. We don't suddenly understand because Christians are suddenly smarter people. We understand because the Holy Spirit reveals it. But if you're trusting in your own abilities, not the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will be just as blind as you were before God saved you.

Oftentimes, we're so oblivious to our sins, our faults, our own deceitful purposes that the only way we ever realize that we're doing something wrong is when God DOESN'T do what we asked.

This is not to say necessarily that we shouldn't have asked - not at all. Rather, the point is that GOD is not unjust, unfair, or dishonest because He didn't give us what we asked for. FIRST, we must believe that God is. If God is not answering any of your prayers, the problem does not lie with Him - the problem lies with you and your prayers. God only gives His children what is best. Sometimes we think that God has said He will do things that He never actually said He would do. That problem is not with God; it's with us. A lot of people get angry about that. They get mad because they misunderstood, because in their minds it should have been made clearer, when really, it's their fault for assuming and presuming.

And in the end, such a response shows that their faith was NOT in God.

So where does this little series leave us with prayer? We are to pray to God the Father, Who is the Giver of all good things and Who answers our prayers on the basis of loving us. We are to pray as Jesus would pray, putting the glory of God always first. We are to pray in faith, not that we will receive what we ask for, but faith that God is God and can therefore be trusted to do all He has said, whether or not we understand what exactly that is.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Prayer: Part Two

"I pray it in the name of Jesus!"

It's a saddening thing to me (and one of those things that makes me sort of squint my eyes and think, "You've got to be kidding me") that there are people, claiming to be Christians, who seem to think that there are magical words. And what makes it worse is that so many of these ignorant ideas come from pastors who are supposed to be shepherding God's people. . . . But that's a different topic all together. Maybe that's something for after this little series.

Maybe you're wondering what exactly I'm talking about. Here's an example. Some time ago now there was a big storm (possibly a hurricane) that was going to hit land soon and someone I knew on Facebook asked people to remember that area of the country in their prayers. There was a comment on that status that was a prayer for safety and then after, it said something that meant basically this: "Because I prayed "in Jesus' name" God will keep everyone safe tomorrow and there will be no loss of life from this storm."

I was ticked when I read that for many reasons. Trying to put God in a box does not work, is a sign that you're putting your faith in the wrong thing, and has the potential of confusing a LOT of people. Trying to put God in a box is BAD. I really hope the person who wrote that rethought their position after at least eight people died the next day.

Maybe you're wondering about John 14:13-14 that say, whatever we ask in Jesus' name, He will do it. Well, think about it for a minute and answer this honestly: Do you really believe that what Jesus was saying is that if we use a special phrase, God has to give us what we asked for?

Two things to take note of from those verses: One, Jesus is talking about doing greater works than He did. He wasn't talking about just asking for anything. He certainly wasn't talking about asking for a new car; He was talking about us asking for divine help in doing greater works than Jesus had done on earth. Two, the last phrase of verse 13 makes it very clear what the purpose is - that the Father may be glorified.

Those verses and every other verse about God giving us what we ask for should be taken in conjunction with Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD and He shall give thee the desire of thy heart."

I've heard a lot of good explanations of this verse; I've heard very few people explain what "in Jesus' name" means. But they are very connected in a way. See, in Psalm 37, we're given this wonderful promise of getting what we desire, IF we are delighting in the LORD. How can God make that promise? Because if we're delighting in the LORD, we won't be desiring anything we shouldn't be. What we desire for ourselves will be what God desires for us. What we desire for others will be what God desires for others. Delighting in the LORD could be also called walking with the LORD; it means we're in step with Him, going the same direction. Our wills line up with HIS! And that means, that above everything we could ask for, we desire His glory. So above all our requests - whether they be for physical or spiritual - what we desire MOST is that God be glorified. And suddenly, we can see that God is answering EVERY one of our prayers and He's being tremendously glorified.

When Jesus talked about praying in His name, He wasn't talking about saying the words. He was talking about actually praying IN HIS NAME, or in step with His will. Think of it this way - if a child goes to their father and says, "Would you come help me with my math?" they may or may not get a positive response, depending on what is best for the child at that time. If it's bed time, they're probably not going to get help with their math. If the same child goes to their dad and and says, "Mom told me to ask if you can help me with my math" - that is a totally different thing. One is just the child's will; one is in line with the will of their authority.

And that illustration follows through to people who just say the words. Because if the little kid says, "Mom asked you to get me three cookies" the dad is probably going to notice that something isn't quite in line with the established practice of his wife. It's not the WORDS that matter - it's whether or not the request is actually in line with the will.

Praying in Jesus' name means that we are praying as Jesus would pray, as if we were a herald sent by Jesus with such and such a message. It means that we ask what He would ask with the same attitude that He would have. And what did Jesus ask for over and over? That God be glorified. What did He pray in the garden when He was in agony over the coming cross, knowing that this thing was going to come, knowing already what the answer was, but asking the Father anyway? "Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine by done." Always, always, always Jesus put the glory of the Father first, even before His desire to escape the cross.